Posts Tagged ‘Fertility Clinic’

Overheard in the Fertility Clinic

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Shelton and I sat anxiously waiting to see the doctor, and the following conversation occurred:

Him: I hate being in this place.

Me: What?! I LOVE this place. This is where babies are made!

Him: No, babies are supposed to be made at home.

Me: Well, we see how well that worked out for us.

My Beauty Lies Within

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

Today I made it over to Dr. T’s office for my follow-up appointment from surgery. I’ve been feeling like a champion and back to 100%. The only complaint I’ve had is that my stitches were still in and my pants/panties were rubbing. I probably should have taken two seconds to slap a bandaid on it to prevent the rubbing, but I didn’t.

Dr. T was wonderful as usual. He explains things slowly, intelligently and not like he’s talking down to me. I appreciate that. I told him I was feeling fine and all-in-all I thought the surgery went well. He agreed. We discussed the endometriosis and he told me he didn’t think it was anything that I need to worry about. If it ever showed its pretty head again, it would be a minor case similar to now. So no effect on my fertility and that was an ENORMOUS relief.

He showed me pictures from the surgery. We also have a copy of these. I told him I had framed them and put them on the mantel. The photos are of my very beautiful ovaries and fallopian tubes. He told me that I had two very beautiful ovaries and I had textbook perfect fallopian tubes. I thought, wow, I really AM beautiful on the inside! All joking aside, he told me that all of my parts are perfect, healthy and prime for baby making and carrying. Now I just need to get a baby “all up in”, as a dear friend of mine says.

He asked where we were with Shelton and his urologist, Dr. G. I told him that we needed to pay Dr. G a lot of money (about $4,000) to do the surgery to retrieve and freeze his sperm. He laughed and said OK. He told me we’re totally on our schedule. If we were 45, he’d have told us we needed to have done all of this yesterday. But the fact that we’re 25 and 26- we’ve got nothing but age on our side and said that we can start as soon as we’re ready. So that was comforting- I don’t feel as rushed as I have.

Believe me, I still want to be a mom and make Shelton a dad and start a family more than anything in the world. I think about it daily and cannot wait for that moment that I realize that this little person will call me mommy. BUT- this gives me more time to save and raise money, more time to alleviate some of the MAJOR stressors in my life and get my body in tip-top shape.

I left with him telling me that I would not need to come back until we were ready to start our first cycle. So, that should be in January if all goes as we hope and plan. In the meantime, we’re signed up for the October IVF class.

I will certainly keep all of you updated as we progesss. Hopefully time between posts will be less than ithas been. Thanks for reading and keeping up with us. And thanks for all the positive, encouraging emails. We’ve made so many new friends in this community and together we’re all going to influence big change in IVF treatment, coverage and expense.

Trip to the Doctor

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Yesterday we went to see Dr. T at the clinic. It’s the first time Shelton has been in since our initial visit. We were primarily there to follow-up on my ovarian cysts and see how they were doing, but also had gone to see Shelton’s urologist an hour before and it was our “where do we go from here” appointment.

All in all, I think it was a great visit. We really felt like we had a chance to sit with Dr. T and ask a lot of questions and get more definitive direction on where we’re headed.

First off, yesterday was my birthday and I tell you there is no greater gift than a trip to the gyno before you’ve had lunch. They say the best gifts come in the smallest packages. (ha!) During my pelvic ultrasound, it appears that my cysts continue to grow, while ever so slightly. He is determined to keep me out of the O.R., which I appreciate. I also discussed the fact that while my periods have been normal my entire life, the past two months I’ve had a 10 day and a 15 day period. What the heck is up with that?! During the ultrasound he found what appears to be a polyp on my uterus and thinks that could possibly be the source of the additional bleeding. He wants me to have one more cycle in August and if it is abnormal at all, I’ll go back and see where we go from there. It sounds like if I’m off then I’ve won a pass straight to the operating room. Luckily, this surgery is covered under our insurance as a gynecological problem.

We also talked to him about our IVF. He told us to sign up for the IVF class that the nurses put on and explains all the details. Ours is scheduled for a Saturday in September. We’ll of course share everything we learn.

I also did the cystic fibrosis test. This is an optional blood test, but one I guess I wanted to have done. We learned that 4% of the US population carries the gene. If I’m a carrier for the gene, then they’ll test Shelton. If I’m not a carrier, then we don’t really need to know about Shelton one way or another. If Shelton and I are both carriers- then we’re left with a really tough question, because there is a greater likelihood we’ll pass on the gene and our child will be born with CF. We’re left to ask if we still want to proceed. My initial thought is that most couples don’t ever have this test and run the risk. I don’t know. Just one more of the really tough questions we’ve been faced with and we’ll have to give it some educated thought and see what we decide. I should have my results next week.

All in all, I think we had a good visit yesterday. We’re in a holding pattern for now until our September class, unless my cyst-tastic body decides to not get any better!


Thursday, July 6th, 2006

We definitely have a lot of ground to cover. I really regret not journaling all of the events of the past six months and having them stockpiled for the site. But I didn’t.

While Shelton and I have now reached a point where more days are spent laughing and joking about the situation we’re in than not, the first few weeks were probably some of the darkest I’ve ever experienced. If that is what depression feels like, I want no part of that, thank you very much.

There were a lot of unanswered questions at the beginning- the biggest of which was if we’d even be able to have children. My request for a puppy increased daily! There were a lot of nights spent in a completely dark house, no dinner- just sitting together silently, crying, talking. Neither of us knew how to make the other feel better.

When we’d finally gotten the “diagnosis” and referred to the fertility specialist, Dr. T, it was another 6 weeks before we’d have any finality to these questions. I finally told Shelton I was done crying about it. There was nothing we could do and we’re just making it worse for ourselves. We kept telling each other we were so sorry- and I said no more apologies. It wasn’t like one of us had done this on purpose. It’s nature… and she is a bitch sometimes! At that point we were still under the belief that we’d do artificial and be done with it. We had no idea IVF was the way.

Following that first appointment we set out to build this site and I dumped all of my energy into that. I soon realized that I wasn’t sleeping, my body was aching all the time, I was probably eating more than I should and I had not cried. When I was called out at work for not caring anymore I kind of woke up from my haze. I love my work and I wear that on my sleeve and if that was suffering then I needed to kick myself in the ass. I apparently also where every ounce of my emotions on my sleeve.

So I figured it out- I hadn’t given this infertility situation the proper attention it needed. In a sense, there was a mourning process that needed to occur and I wasn’t letting that happen. As part of that, not crying was huge for me. I cry every time Ty gets the keys on Extreme Home Makeover. But not being able to conceive my babies- that left me completely dry.

Finally, Mother’s Day came around. We spent the afternoon with my family- my mom, aunts and grandmother. All of us celebrating the amazing things they had done for each of us. And I wanted that so badly. I wanted to be holding my baby and soaking up the fact that I too had joined this elite club of moms.

Shelton and I had driven separately that day. I no sooner left my aunt’s neighborhood and I just practically collapsed behind the steering wheel. The tears came so suddenly and with such force. I probably should have pulled over. But nothing beats a good cry at 65 on the highway… right girls? I bawled the entire way home and I thanked God for finally letting it happen. It felt so good, refreshing.

I woke up the next day and it felt as though the air had cleared and I could now approach this with a clear head and do what needed to be done. I haven’t cried since then, but I haven’t needed to.

Not to say there haven’t been bad days since… and I know there are plenty ahead. But for now, I’ve made a “little” peace with the situation and I’ve said you are not going to take me down with you.


Sunday, July 2nd, 2006

We cannot tell you how excited we are to be making this first post. We found out in December we were facing fertility issues, but little did we know that the path ahead would be long, expensive and very emotional. Since this is our first post, I’ll start by backing up, giving you a brief timeline of the events that got us here and then explain where we’re headed.

March 2004- We decided we’d start trying to have a baby. Sounded easy enough. The basic concept of the idea made sense.
August- 2005- We’d been trying for 17 months… and we were pretty sure we were doing it right. Went to our family practice doctor (Dr. H), started charting my ovulation.
December 2005- Returned to Dr. H to review charts. Brandi was normal- eyes turned to Shelton. He had to give a sample.
January 2006- Call from Dr. H that Shelton’s sperm count was, well, a nice round number…zero. We were referred to a urologist, Dr. F.
February 2006- First appointment with Dr. F. A lot of exciting little tests and exams for Shelton. We were told that Shelton basically has a natural vasectomy. We were referred to the fertility specialist, Dr. T.
April 2006- After about a 6 week wait, we finally got our first appointment. This is a normal wait time.

Going into our first appointment, we expected to find out that by doing artificial insemination we’d be on our way to having a baby (this is the turkey baster method, in a nutshell. We’d already been falling in love with our turkey baster baby). We were very hopeful of this procedure because it was quick, painless and incredibly affordable (cheaper than our new dining room table). What a bargain!

Dr. T wasted no time in telling us that due to Shelton’s diagnosis, artificial insemination would not be an option. They’d never get enough of a sample for it to be successful. We’d have to move right up the line to IVF- In Vitro Fertilization. I don’t think Shelton fully grasped what the Doc was saying. I immediately knew, above anything else, the financial impact was substantial. I had guesstimated in my head about a $10,000 cost. Before we left that day we had an estimate for $15,000… and told to allow some wiggle room. This estimate did not include all of the diagnostic work that had already been done, not all of which was covered by insurance.

Now, I work in advertising and I spend my days scheming creative ways to solve problems- whatever works, there are no limits. By the time we made it out to the car, the gears were already churning.

By the time we made it on to the highway entrance ramp, I looked at Shelton and said, “Ok, I’ve got an idea.” Which Shelton always follows with, “How much is it going to cost me?” And for one of the very rare times, I said, “Not much. If anything, it will make us money.” So I explained this idea of throwing ourselves at the mercy of the world- by telling everyone every gritty detail of this long, insane journey we were about to take part in, they would maybe be so kind as to donate some money so that we could have this baby we so desperately wanted.

If everyone who visited donated at least a dollar, 20,000 visitors later we could have a baby. They say it takes a village to raise a child, we need a village to help us just get the dad-gum thing conceived!

By the next day we’d come up with the name, Baby or Bust, and the wheels were still churning. I didn’t sleep for a week because the possibilities seemed endless and I had to wrap my brain around each and find a way to make it applicable. I’m a little researcher, so I immediately began scouring bookstores and the Internet for any tidbit about IVF and what we could expect to go through. Everything I found was cold and textbook- I wanted the private, personal stuff that a girlfriend would tell me. I’ve continued to find that it rarely exists.

All the more reason to do this. If we can help even one other couple understand the procedures and justify their emotions, then some part of this has been worth it.

So here we are, July 2 and the site went live about 3 hours ago. Jeremy Sanchez, a good friend of ours, is responsible for the site design and development. We wouldn’t even be writing this post without his incredible generosity and hard work. Just getting here was the first step, and Jeremy, thank you will never be big enough or loud enough.

As we tend to do, we’ve taken to the lighter side. I keep calling it “this insanity.” And that is exactly what it is. What this process does to your heart, mind, emotions, hell, even your sex life, it’s just insanity. But Shelton and I quickly pulled together and have grabbed this by the horns and said we will beat you. We want this baby and nothing is going to stand in our way. Heck at this point, we’re looking at two babies- the possibility for twins is huge! (Brandi giggles YAY! Shelton passes out).

So where are we now? About two weeks ago in June, Shelton met with his new urologist, Dr. G, who we were referred to by our fertility specialist, Dr. T. This guy is apparently one of like 50 docs in the country who work with male infertility and treatment. He did some initial exams and wants to see Shelton again on July 20- Brandi’s birthday. From there, Shelton is looking at having surgery to obtain his first sperm sample. After that, it’s back to Dr. T to assess the situation and we’re not 100% sure what that involves yet.

What we do know, is that every doctor’s appointment, lab test, poke, prod and band-aid comes out of our hip pocket. We earn a reasonable salary, we live a fairly comfortable lifestyle- but we do not have twenty Gs laying around. That’s why we’re asking the world to help us out. And in advance, thank you.

Tentatively, we’re looking at a February 2007 “conception”. Between now and then, we’re up against a lot- a lot of doctor’s visits, surgery, medicine, tears, laughing, frustration and hope. We’re excited to share all of this with you, and hope you’ll visit often. Yes, we’re baring our souls and more- but it seems like a small price to pay for the little person we’ll get in the end.

Over the next week or so, we’ll work to basically catch-up on everything that has happened. We’ll each blog individually and sometimes together. We think it’s important for both of our perspectives to be shared individually, as the things we’ll experience will sometimes differ; but this is very much a duet and we want that perspective shared as well.

We welcome you to Baby or Bust and thank you for sharing in our journey.